Hever Castle features on Natural History Museum documentary

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January 21 2021 | Garden

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A project which saw Hever Castle team up with the Natural History Museum on an insect count will feature in a new Channel 5 programme.

Natural History Museum: World of Wonder will air weekly from 7 January at 8pm on Channel 5.

Insect experts from the Museum were filmed when they came to Hever Castle in August to find and catalogue insects as part of the Darwin Tree of Life project.

The Darwin Tree of Life project sees the Museum, along with 9 other sciences centres collect, store and study the DNA of all UK animals, plants and fungi to better understand and protect the biodiversity we have left in the UK.

Hever Castle is set to feature in episode 3 of the four part Channel 5 series which will air on Thursday 21 January.

The team from the Natural History Museum visited Hever Castle due to the wide variety of nature and wildlife on the estate.

New habitations and eco systems have been established throughout the grounds with measures including the introduction of the meadow flowers in sites such as along Hever Lake.

Channel 5 Factual Commissioning Editor Lucy Willis says, ‘In this series we go behind the doors of one of the greatest museums in the world. Every year, over five million visitors come to see its incredible collection: from extraordinary dinosaurs to giant whales, rare fossils to space rocks as old as the solar system itself, all looked after by its passionate staff.

‘But visitors see only a fraction of the staggering 80 million items in the collection. Now our cameras have been allowed not just front of house but behind the scenes too, to capture the incredible specimens and reveal the unique and rare pieces too valuable to exhibit.’

Dr Gavin Broad the principal curator in charge (insects) said: “Hever has a lovely mix of habitats, with so much land sympathetically managed for wildlife, in addition to the beautiful gardens. With a mix of freshwater, woodlands and grasslands, we can sample a variety of organisms, contributing valuable data and specimens that will have their whole genomes sequenced.”

Duncan Leslie, CEO at Hever Castle said: “It is incredible to be able to work with Gavin and the Natural History Museum on building up a record of these insects and finding out more about the insects we have. It’s been fascinating to discover the exotic creatures we have here.”

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